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Jason Tolbert

Life lessons from Coach Campbell and the 27 trap

Last Friday my high school coach, Don Campbell, was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. With 257 wins, 16 conference championships, and two state titles, his record speaks for itself. But perhaps his greatest impact was on the lives of the young men who played for Coach.

The cost of raising the minimum wage

One policy initiative President Barack Obama highlighted in his State of the Union is to increase the federal minimum wage. A fellow Democrat, our own Sen. Mark Pryor, is not echoing Obama’s proposal but rather criticizing the size of the Obama initiative while supporting a smaller state increase.

The cost of doing nothing

The biggest decision facing the Arkansas Legislature in its short fiscal session that began this week is whether to continue funding Arkansas’ private option, which uses federal Medicaid funds to expand health insurance for Arkansans, but through private health insurances plans.

Racing interests slip two through

The fact that lobbying interests still have a strong influence on legislation passed by the Arkansas General Assembly should surprise no one. In fact, since the enactment of term limits most lobbyists find it even easier to push through legislation that they not only support but have a heavy influence in crafting.

The Natural State bowl

With the Arkansas Razorbacks out of the bowl picture again, I’ve turned to the Arkansas State Red Wolves for my home state bowl fix the past two years. They did not disappoint with a thrilling win Sunday night over Ball State in the GoDaddy Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

‘Happy, happy, happy’ Christmas

The lull in the news cycle during the Christmas holiday season often brings about some odd stories. This year it involves comments made by a reality television star in a magazine interview that stirred up some controversy. What sounds like a story on the entertainment page has caused governors and congressmen to offer their opinions.

The tradition of Little Rock Hog games

Growing up in Arkansas, it was a given that I would be a Razorback fan. Although my parents are from Georgia, they moved to Fayetteville to work at the University of Arkansas for Campus Crusade for Christ after they graduated from college. By the time I was born they had transferred to Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, but calling the Hogs was already a family tradition.

Voting record or dirty tricks?

When former lawmakers run for office, they can expect their legislative records to be examined with a fine-toothed comb. Votes they may have long since forgotten can unwittingly become the centerpiece of their campaigns. Such is the case with a couple of committee votes cast by former Congressman Mike Ross back in 2009.

Geography a factor in 2nd District

Republican Tim Griffin’s announcement last month that he will not seek a third term as 2nd District congressman created a bit of a scramble in Central Arkansas as both parties prepare to campaign for the soon-t0-be open seat.

Fixing the glitches

After several years of debate, planning and tweaking of the Affordable Care Act, the main component is finally here. Enrollment into the health care exchanges has hardly been a booming success as proponents predicted. Instead, the launch has been closer to the train wreck predicted by opponents.

Obamacare is here for now

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — has dominated the political conversation for the last five years since the legislation was introduced in 2009. Now, at long last, key parts of it are here, but for how long may depend on factors outside either political party’s control.

Like Mike

In the 1990’s, Michael Jordan was a hero of the NBA and a pop culture icon. A recurring theme in Gatorade ads at the time featured people singing about how they wanted to “be like Mike.” It seems the ad could be recycled by the campaign for Mike...

Elections that matter

You may not have noticed yesterday, but an important election took place in Arkansas that is likely to affect you in a direct way. Unfortunately, you probably heard little about it and odds are that you did not cast a ballot. I am referring to the...